The environmental impact of bitcoin mining has been a hot-button issue for a few years. There has been resistance to bitcoin mining worldwide as governments are slowly coming out against mining.
Data from a consortium of several bitcoin mining companies known as the Bitcoin Mining Council (BMC) shows that bitcoin mining is steadily adopting a sustainable model for power usage.
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Collecting information from over 32 percent of the current global Bitcoin network, their Q4 report showed the percentage of the global Bitcoin mining industry deploying renewable resources to mine Bitcoin has increased to 58 percent from barely 1 percent.
Founder and CEO of MicroStrategy, Michael Saylor, a key member of the BMC, said, “This quarter we saw the trend continue with dramatic improvements to Bitcoin mining energy efficiency and sustainability due to advances in semiconductor technology, the rapid expansion of North American mining, the China Exodus, and worldwide rotation toward sustainable energy and modern mining techniques.”
The voluntary organisation comprises some of the biggest bitcoin mining companies, such as Bit Digital, BitFury, Bitfarms, Atlas Mining, and more. The council propagates transparent ideas to educate the general population on the various benefits of bitcoin and bitcoin mining.
The survey conducted took three metrics to formulate their finding: Electricity consumption, technological efficiency, and sustainable power mix. The survey's findings point at a substantial improvement in bitcoin mining efficiency and environmental impact.
As per the findings, roughly 46 percent of miners were using sustainable sources of energy to mine bitcoins. The report also found that due to the use of efficient technology, the hashrate of the members in BMC increased by 77 percent in Q4. The hashrate, a measure of the computational power used every second of the mining process, has grown to 19.4 petahash per MW.
The Q4 report also showed that the global sustainable power mix for BMC alone was 66.1 percent. In comparison, the sustainable power mix for the global bitcoin mining activities was 58.5 percent during Q4, representing an increase of one percent from the figures of Q3.
Also read: Bitcoin’s dirty secrets: With rise in value, surge in energy use has reached alarming levels, says report
The environmental impact of bitcoin mining has been a hot-button issue for a few years. There has been resistance to bitcoin mining worldwide as governments are slowly coming out against mining. China last year banned mining activities, and various other governments are also trying to figure out solutions to the impact of mining on the environment.
This led to miners migrating to countries that are more welcoming to mining activities or adopting sustainable power sources for mining as they face growing pressures from the public, shareholders and governments.
Bitcoin mining uses the proof-of-work consensus mechanism to verify transaction and add blocks in the blockchain. The mechanism requires the use of expensive computing hardware like GPUs (graphics processing unit), which is responsible for consuming large amounts of energy.